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Audio Transcript: Project Phoenix is rising to the challenge of replacing thermal power stations

The text below is the transcript from the 'Project Phoenix' video. An audio-described version of the video is also available.

Video Title: Project Phoenix is rising to the challenge of replacing thermal power stations

The progressive closure of large-scale thermal Power Plants, and the growth of distributed renewable generation within the UK, has resulted in the need to find new and innovative solutions to protect both the quality and resilience of energy supply.

One of these proposed solutions is Project Phoenix – currently being developed by SP Energy Networks.

Phoenix is a four-year innovation project funded by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition, which will introduce the concept and live trial of ‘Hybrid Synchronous Condensers’.

We’ll demonstrate the technical and economic advantages of deploying this technology, with the ultimate aim of encouraging future rollout across the GB network.

So why do we need to change the existing technology?

The spinning mass in the conventional power system, traditionally located at the old thermal power stations, which has provided stability in the past, will be replaced by renewable energy, such as windfarms.  As a result, grid stabilisation becomes more challenging.

Existing technology, such as a static compensator alone, cannot maintain the quality and resilience of supply expected by our customers.

So, what is a Hybrid Synchronous Condenser and how will it help?

A Hybrid Synchronous Condenser combines two pre-existing technologies - a synchronous condenser and a static compensator or ‘STATCOM’, managed by an innovative master control system.

By combining the rotating with the static, and the fast response time with the stable power supply, the two technologies complement each other, helping provide the services we are losing from thermal power stations.

Phoenix will ultimately aid with the transition to a smart future network that can benefit from clean, sustainable energy resources without compromising the security and quality of supply.

Critically this will allow for the connection of additional renewable energy resources

Working together with our project partners - ABB, National Grid, The University of Strathclyde and The Technical University of Denmark, we will design, install & prove the concept before validating the commercial mechanisms in order to incentivise the roll-out of this technology within the network.

Have a question or want to know more about this project?

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